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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in not_your_real's LiveJournal:

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Monday, November 19th, 2012
3:12 pm
12.04 baby!
I am on the cutting edge of Xubuntu LTS, woohoo!

Note to self: 10.04 was not why your s3fs wouldn't compile. It wanted dev versions of the required packages, is why it wouldn't compile.

The new Xubuntu interface (not Unity), though I already changed the theme and icons:

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
11:28 pm
Life update
I... never mentioned here that I had another baby 13 months ago? Sorry, I've kind of been on Facebook. Now I have a boy kindergartner and a girl almost-toddler. Someday I expect I'll have hobbies again, besides an obsession with BBC-sponsored escapism.

The boy reads (suddenly. I am like, hide all the words!!) The baby has four teeth and lives life to the fullest. I hang on tightly and wait for life to settle down.

Current Mood: nostalgic
Thursday, December 8th, 2011
3:08 am
A couple hundred people in London got to see the first of three new BBC Sherlocks tonight. And they're not talking. Except to say how mindblowingly good it is, better than the best of last season.


C'mon, people, post some spoilers fer chrissake!
Sunday, September 25th, 2011
3:04 pm
Crawling baby!
Yesterday the baby caught her brother's cold, learned to crawl, and stood up on her own.

I think that's not the first time she's made leaps while sick. I guess when we're sick maybe we forget what we can't do?
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
2:32 am
So glad I finally modified my home-grown RSS reader so it can access protected LJ posts! I haven't been reading LJ from LJ for a while. Looking forward to catching back up!
Saturday, March 27th, 2010
1:26 pm
There's been the most amazing antique car...
...driving past our house the last two days. It looks like something from the Brass Age, all shiny white with gold trim. Today I noticed that it was not just driving by on the main road; it turned at our corner, coming out from our own neighborhood before heading down the larger road.

So I went for a walk.

A few houses down the road I came upon two women talking. Our neighborhood is mostly retirees, and these two appeared to be no exception. They recognized me and chatted about the weather, and I confessed that I was out walking hoping to catch "that AMAZING antique car" on its way back.

"Oh, that's Bob." "He's getting divorced." "Yep, he's divorcing me!"

She said this in the most cheerful and offhand way.

The next few comments were a cascade of oversharing, which I will spare you. I was flummoxed. Worst of all, hiding under the part of me that was blushing with my hand over my mouth and looking for a graceful exit, part of me was thinking: "So, which of you is getting the house? Will that car be leaving the neighborhood?"

I never did find out exactly which house the car is from; the soon-to-be-divorcée was chatting with her neighbor at that neighbor's house. And of course I couldn't ask!

Current Mood: embarrassed
Sunday, January 24th, 2010
10:57 pm
Tempora et mores
Several years ago, I used to be able to talk to my parents about religion and politics. Now I can't even talk to them about the weather.

(Good thing there's a grandchild to talk about! And genealogy.)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
11:27 pm
Animal Collective - digested?
Shortly after I wrote the last entry, I stopped listening to Animal Collective. I'd digested the albums I have. When you can listen to your favorite parts anytime you want by playing them in your head, who needs MP3's? I had a near-constant soundtrack of them running inside.

The past few days I've been listening to Pandora.com's idea of Artists Like Animal Collective. There are a few surprising selections in there (the Beatles? really?), but they must be doing something right, because nothing jarringly out-of-place comes up (as was an occasional problem with last.fm, which depended too heavily on user tagging). So I am listening to them again, when they come up on Pandora. The other artists are quite interesting. So far the easy winner in "new stuff I want to listen to" is Grizzly Bear's album Veckatimest.

Current Mood: happy
Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
9:41 pm
Still grooving
It's been 7 months now of compulsive Animal Collective listening. I have the album I started with, two of their earlier albums, a solo album from one of the members, and some live concert recordings, and I plan to buy more albums as I get to them.

I still get the rush of... serotonin? Some happy relaxing brain chemical, whenever the music starts up, especially that first album. It washes over me like a cool drink of water combined with a warm fuzzy blanket. I listen to an album or two every day.

It feels qualitatively different from other music I would have placed in the same genre. Mere music doesn't fit the same brain-hole that this stuff does. Dissonance, syncopation, barbershop harmony, dance beats, occasionally accented with bleated or yelped vocals. Somehow it works.

Current Mood: blissed out
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
11:19 pm
Again I am overflowed with the odd corners of reality, courtesy of Teresa Nielsen Hayden, this time due to her footnotes in the Tor.com re-reading-with-commentary of the Sandman series.

Tonight's highlights: finding out that co-founder Jack Parsons of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, where friends of my family have been known to work, was a colorful (to say the least) Satanist; and the connection between the Dead Marshes, that hell that Frodo and Sam traversed to get to Mordor, and trench warfare in World War I as Tolkien experienced it. Dead faces staring up from pools of filth? Yep, that fits with the parts of trench warfare they didn't mention in school.

There is so, so, so much about the world that I want to know and will never be able to. I want to know what archaic turns of phrase seemed opaque and mystical to the Old Testament-era people whose clear and obvious metaphors became our opaque and mystical formulas, and what older language those turns of phrase came from. I want to know if everyone everywhere at every time had available to them an opaque and mystical register in which to speak when they desired, or not. I want to know what it was like to be human but not have language yet, and what changed. And that's just one of hundreds of directions to look in.

Stopping before I get more prolix. Must be the prolix time of the month.
Friday, August 7th, 2009
11:02 pm
Random fruit musing...
I totally like nectarines far more than peaches. This seems like a betrayal of the natural order of things. Aren't peaches supposed to be the end-all and be-all of pitted fruit?
Monday, August 3rd, 2009
9:10 pm
Death Note dissonance
Reaching episode 20 and experiencing the second season intro music of Death Note was almost as incongruous as Light's complete personality change after his mindwipe.
Friday, March 27th, 2009
8:56 pm
Carrington event preparedness
I was tasked with evaluating the feasibility of household emergency preparedness for this event.

Short answer? Preparing for the fabled Atlantic mega-tsunami would be easier. (We wouldn't have to move as far west to avoid that one.)

Longer answers:

1) Move to self-sufficient island nation. Uh, do those exist?
2) Move to politically stable underdeveloped nation. See above...
3) Lobby Congress to force nationwide energy grid to rebuild in a less vulnerable way. Within 3 years.
4) Move west of the Mississippi.
5) Join a survivalist enclave. Probably redundant with 4).
6) Try to become survivalist-in-place. This would buy us some as-yet-undetermined amount of time, before the local lake/stream gets hopelessly fouled and all the deer get eaten. Wouldn't buy us the 4-10 years of systemic collapse the New Scientist site predicts.

Oh well. At least I can stop worrying about the little things.

Current Mood: fatalist
Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
1:27 am
That book meme
I believe I did this once before.

1. Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence along with these instructions in your LiveJournal.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

"Kanta Bai was faintly amused."

Sacred Games, Vikram Chandra (hardcover).
Sunday, January 11th, 2009
8:40 pm
Facebook ate my brain
I've been on Facebook for a week now (if you know me, find me there) and it is such a delirious feeling.

Now, I didn't think I'd enjoy it. At all. I was generally scared of people from my past, thinking surely they remember my weirdness, immaturity, and inappropriate moments.

Further, I was always afraid of the different parts of my life colliding. I was the child who, when running into a schoolmate at the mall, would hide behind my mother because it was so disorienting to see anyone out of their proper context. I always avoided having an online presence that interacted with multiple different parts of my life. I thought different friend-groups were best kept separate.

So, Facebook was scary. But which_chick convinced me, and I signed up.

Now, yes, all different eras of my life are represented there, from people I knew when I was three years old to people I met two years ago. But it's all good! It's better than good! It is (and I think this is the last time I will use this simile) like living everywhere I've ever lived all at the same time. I can find out that the little girl next door, 9 years old when I left, has become an amazing woman. I finally found out what happened to the guy we all had a crush on in high school. But most importantly, I can simply follow along quietly with the people I've lost touch with.

I got my best highschool (and continuing) friend to join. I miss her, and I lose track of even what age her kids are. But now it's like living nextdoor: we don't talk everyday, but when she posts her status, I see her coming and going, and just know what's generally up in her life. That is invaluable. I hope she keeps up with it.

It's been like a dream the past week. I'm just getting used to it now.

Current Mood: euphoric
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
8:39 am
Eric says that our staid, relaxed little district, which in previous years I would have assumed was completely inhabited by elderly voters, had a one hour fifteen minute line for voting at poll opening tihs morning, and it looked just as long when he finally got through.

I don't know if it will slack off after 9. I will have the two-and-a-half-year-old with me. Thank heavens I don't live in a poor, underserved district. Thank heavens I don't have a difficult child. This will be fun.
Monday, November 3rd, 2008
10:51 pm
The Eve
I feel like it's Christmas Eve. Tomorrow we get to unwrap a new president!

I toyed around with writing something cute mixing the Les Mis songs "One Day More" and "Red and Black" (but as Red and Blue)... but that sounded too much like work.

One Day More! Democrats galore! Umm... we shoot, we score?

I feel giddy. (Oh so giddy, I feel giddy, and witty, and... the singing stops now.)
Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
11:02 pm
Apropos of nothing
Does it bother anybody else that popular science articles about biology, and even some real refereed science journal articles, have to defensively state now that Evolution is Real at the beginning or end (unless the article's main thrust is to attack the ludicrous cavils of the ID folks, in which case the disclaimer would be redundant)? Wasn't this simply understood when I was growing up?

Next I'll be ranting about rampant superstition and the pandering to the lowest common denominator committed by all those cable channels that fill the niche PBS used to service (History, Discovery etc.) I'm turning into my dad.
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007
1:25 pm
Quick text-only Peter update
Peter is a week shy of 17 months. That's almost a year and a half, for those not thinking in months (toddler-parents do, but I seem to recall the "X months" format glazing over my eyes before I had my own).

For about a month now Peter has been saying two-word phrases on his own. I think the first one he came up with spontaneously was at my parents' on the 8th or 9th of September, when he slid down off the bed from me and announced where he was going: "Dada go-go!" (You have to imagine the latter with full toddler enunciation: "Go-GOUUU!")

Lately he has been repeating three-word phrases. Yesterday he repeated "go get cart" after me at the grocery store. Today at the playground, he came out with one that just blew me away, but I promptly forgot it! Also, he is using possessives: "Mama book" "Dada shoe(s)" and, surprisingly, "My shoe(s)"!

He seems to think the language we are speaking is verb-final, adjective-final, and possessor-possessee (in the latter case he is correct). Verb-final and adjective-final is an odd mixture; English itself is very odd in having the object come after the verb but the adjective come before the noun, and his version is equally odd, but in the other direction! I love having a front-row seat to language acquisition.

He is counting twos. "Vhan duuu" (two vans). "Bebee duuu" (two children). I first noticed it yesterday. We can hardly believe our ears.

Living next to a busy road, he has learned the words for: car, truck, van, bus, pickup truck ("Gidikidikaa"), dump truck ("dah dahm"), mail truck ("meymey dah", which is used for UPS, Fedex, and other delivery vans as well as the US Postal mail), bicycle (now standardized to "bickle" instead of the charming "bwichikle"), cement truck ("men dah"), helicopter ("wuh-wuh" - ok, this one is his imitation of my imitation of the rotor sounds), and airplane ("bebee" - requires context to disambiguate; the same sounds are used for "baby" and "playground" as well as "plane"). His favorites (of the ground-based vehicles) are pickup trucks and buses, and bicycles (Daddy rides a bicycle!)

I gave him shoes a month ago. I wish I'd recorded it. Who knew a competent walker, put in shoes for the first time, would wobble on his ankles and trip over his feet! He figured it out within two days, though.

He is down to one mid-day nap. Sometimes three hours, sometimes two. Right now he has just woken up so I guess this is it for now.
Friday, May 4th, 2007
10:29 pm
Cutest ever
Cutest-ever thing for today:

After dinner, Peter was walking with his box (he can walk, now, but he can walk faster if he's pushing a box, and walking with his various boxes is his new totally favorite thing ever in the world), and I was standing at the sink cleaning up. From the other room I hear incredulous, delighted chuckling. I look over, and he is crouched down in front of the stopped box. I surmised that he had bumped into and then found the Snack-Trap full of puffed corn cereal, with which I had kept him occupied in the grocery store earlier today, and was now gloating over his find like some chimpanzee unable to suppress its food call when it finds the planted cache of bananas in the animal-psychology experiment.

Eventually, box-pushing resumed and he came thumping back into the kitchen toward me. As he pulled up to me, I glanced down into the box. There with his other motley assortment of treasures (stick, teething ring, discarded cardboard Amazon.com packaging, thin battered Heinlein paperback he pulled off the shelves) was the Snack-Trap! It was so cute! Now I know he really is putting things into the box because he likes them, and not just at random.

His first birthday is coming up next week. Happily he will not notice the lack of cake, as cake contains 3/4 of his allergens. I don't think he'll mind either if the presents trickle in one at a time instead of in one big unwrapping-fest.

One month and two days ago, I saw him take his first connected three steps and sketched out in my head a complicated LJ post comparing and contrasting improvements he'd made over the previous month with those he was making just in that week, addressing six areas evenly distributed between physical, mental and social milestones. I got three paragraphs written (LJ saved it as a draft) and then forgot I'd ever started it. I think the improvements were as follows:

  • Walking: he was taking single steps throughout his 11th month, and took three steps at almost 11 months.
  • Stairs: he had been crawling up for some time, and was just beginning to teach himself how to crawl down them by swinging his left leg over the edge.
  • Drinking water: I had just introduced him to water in a cup (actually, another Snack-Trap without the lid) and he took to it like a duck. Which is to say, he ends up covered in water.
  • "No": this one was particularly interesting. Over the previous few weeks, he'd started responding to "No", but closer to the time I was composing my list, he'd also shown an awareness of rules, avoiding situations which had led to a "No" before.
  • Waving: he was waving rather indiscriminately at the time, just to see people wave back. Now he has connected waving with saying goodbye.

Well, that was only five, and three of them were physical. Maybe the three sets of two were divided up differently than I thought. I wonder which improvement I forgot? He has said a word once or twice; maybe that was it.
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